Shira's Reviews > Skinny

Skinny by Donna Cooner
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's review
Jul 14, 2012

it was ok
Read in July, 2012

Skinny - the story of a 300 pound high school girl who undergoes gastric bypass surgery and loses half of her weight - is sloppily written and cloying plays on all of the stereotypical insecurities of high school girls. Ever, the protagonist, is not a sympathetic character nor any kind of positive role model. The author insinuates that Ever's weight gain is due to her grief over her mother's death, and yet Ever never actually deals with that loss. This book had so much potential to explore the loaded issue of obesity but instead glorified weight loss as a solution for all of Ever's insecurities.

I wish that there was a stronger message in the book that it's Ever's classmates who are wrong for taunting her, not Ever's fault for being fat. Being fat in this book is presented as being unequivocally unhealthy which is an overwhelmingly negative message to be sending to impressionable youngish girls (--what I imagine the target audience to be). Granted, Ever's weight gain actually is unhealthy, but it's Emotionally unhealthy as the audience is led to believe that her gain gain is a symptom of her deep emotional distress over losing her mother. If that's true than the solution to her problem shouldn't be life altering weight loss surgery, it should be therapy.
And, on the subject of surgery, in this book it was posed as a normal "no big deal" solution for a girl who's 16 (...I think) years old. To me, this is irresponsible writing because it teaches girls to accept external pressure to look a certain way and that it's acceptable to undergo irreversible surgery in order to fit into a socially acceptable mold.

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